This semester, Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellows Siera Tanabe from The University of Texas at El Paso and Jonathan Hinojos and Solomon Contreras from El Paso Community College and I are initiating a new podcast series made possible by The Humanities Collaborative at EPCC-UTEP, La Frontera Speaks, which will focus on sharing contemporary and historic personal accounts of our border.
Come inside El Paso Community College’s Rio Grande campus on a Wednesday afternoon, and you’ll find students and faculty alike learning something new in room A125. Inside this room is Papagayo, a name inherited from its founder, Ysella Fulton Slavin.
The Humanities Collaborative at EPCC-UTEP website defines the humanities as a diverse collection of fields of studies that describes our culture, society, and beliefs. Some of these fields of study include, but are not limited to, literature, history, philosophy, language and linguistics, and art and music history. The field of public history fits nicely into this humanities discussion.
Language is the heart that pumps blood through our communicative bodies. Some of us have multiple languages that help form us, like squids and octopuses that have multiple hearts. While there’s always the primary heart that seemingly does the majority of the work, the other hearts are just as essential to live. Like our hearts and everything else that goes on in our bodies, we take language for granted.
In these past months of working with The Humanities Collaborative at EPCC-UTEP I have been able to experience different forms of literature along with being able to share literature with others. In working with Collaborative Faculty Fellow Professor Jorge Gomez, I have met people and, more specifically, faculty at EPCC that share the same passions I have in discussing literature, literacy, and showing people the power of their voice in a border city.